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Torched cars abandoned in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 01:16 01 December 2001 | UPDATED: 10:58 03 March 2010

MORE than 1,000 torched or abandoned cars are blighting the streets of Ipswich every year The Evening Star can reveal today.

As Ipswich Borough Council workers valiantly try to clear up the debris left by teenage tearaways who go joyriding before setting alight to vehicles or car owners who just don't care about their rust heaps the figures demonstrate the problem is immense.

MORE than 1,000 torched or abandoned cars are blighting the streets of Ipswich every year The Evening Star can reveal today.

As Ipswich Borough Council workers valiantly try to clear up the debris left by teenage tearaways who go joyriding before setting alight to vehicles or car owners who just don't care about their rust heaps the figures demonstrate the problem is immense.

More than 500 tonnes of scrap metal removed from Ipswich's streets and open spaces in just 12 months by council employees.

However the good news is that the council believes its Cleaner Ipswich campaign is working.

Since its special hotline swung into operation during the summer 556 cars have been taken away and crushed. That is an average of nearly 100 vehicles a month between May and October.

In the same period last year - before Cleaner Ipswich was launched - 345 cars were taken away by the council's contractors. That's 200 fewer cars.

"Abandoned cars are an eyesore and they are a growing problem," said a council spokesman. "Part of the problem is that there is little value in scrap metal so people are simply leaving their old bangers by the roadside or in a park. In the old days they would have been given a tenner by the scrap yard - not any more.

"But there is no excuse for abandoning cars. It is also an offence. It is much better to give the hotline a call and keep Ipswich cleaner. There are a lot more cars out there but the council is taking action and is making a difference."

The spokesman said IBC knows there is a lot more junk out there and recognises there is a lot more to do.

Officers can not just order cars to be removed straight away as they would be breaking the law.

First the council has to establish that they are abandoned, however vehicles are in a dangerous state they will be taken away regardless.

However the battle to keeps roads free from discarded cars and vans continues.

When member of the public or a police officer rings Ipswich Borough Council's Cleaner Ipswich hotline an officer is sent out to investigate.

If the car is not taxed a seven-day notice is put on the windscreen, warning the owner that the car will be removed after a week if it is still there.

When the time is up, a second inspection takes place. If the car is still there, the council calls in its contractors and the car is taken away to be crushed.

More Ipswich people are taking advantage of the council's £20 "surrender" offer.

If you live in Ipswich and want to get rid of your car the council will arrange for the car to be taken away, as long as it is in the borough and the owner surrenders the log book, for a payment of £20.

In August the council received 158 calls to the hotline.

These calls led to 12 cars being surrendered. Nineteen were simply not there when the council's inspectors arrived. However, 95 had a seven-day notice put on them and of these 91 were scrapped.

N If you know of an abandoned car then IBC's Cleaner Ipswich hotline is 01473 433000.


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